Letter from Frances Hodgkins to Rachel Hodgkins

06 Jun 1914
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06 Jun 1914
Equihen Boulogne-s-Mer June 6th
My dearest Mother
I have exchanged the roar of Paris traffic for the roar of the English Channel. Imagine me perched up high on the cliff in my little cottage. It is rather a neat little place, the last house in the village, with the Studio in a cabbage patch further up the hillside. If only it would get warm. It is so dreadfully cold, an east wind & wet, not a blink of sunshine for days. I have warned pupils to hold off a bit till conditions improve. The sands stretch for miles north & south & it is this bit of coast where the airman land when they fly across the Channel. Hardly a soul here at present. Hughes Stanton, the landscapist, & his wife are at the little inn & a novelist called Maxwell writing a novel & talking a great deal about it. Whey they talk about mostly, I find, is their food. The sand dunes stretch inland & are patched with little pine woods very windblown & tortured in shape, lots of goats & cattle tended by shaggy little goatherds, purely pastoral subjects of the kind I am very partial to. I have to face the horrid fact of my lost bundle – it has gone for good & all. The search is now abandoned as no trace of it can be found. It is very disheartening. I am trying to face it like a man but it is rather a staggerer. I don’t feel much in heart to begin all over again. The money loss is so great. I have had to get a new outfit. I so hate the sight of my new tools – they have no virtue in them. Betha & party arrive in Paris tomorrow. I shall probably run over to London & see an oculist about glasses – I feel my eyes & have headaches, probably I have strained them in Italy where the light is so strong.
It is a reign of Terror in London just now with the wild women. Everything is closed. Destruction of Churches & pictures is their great game carried out with an appalling amount of fervour. It has become a matter between them & their God? & nothing now will stop them in their mad course for self immolation. It is very horrible to read of these daily brawls & fights between men & women where physical violence is resorted to & the women at Death’s door from starvation & torture.
I posted a little packet to you dear – I do hope you will get it all right. Write at once about my 2 cases of pictures dear will you. I don’t feel so anxious about them – they are certain to turn up. I must go to bed now, so cold & no hot bottle. Love to you all Yr loving Fanny
2 pages
Sender's address
Equihen, Boulogne-s-Mer
Institutional No.
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Letters to Rachel Hodgkins. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-28. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.